Merry Meet and Happy Easter, Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!
No, that's still not the same as "Wabbit Season" or the dreaded "Fish Season".
Every year for the past several years, a pair of Mallards have come to visit us. For a long time, they would land on our front lawn, hang around for a day or two and leave. Sometime during last Spring, we noticed that said ducks had found their way into our backyard and were taking dips in the Koi pond! Well, we thought this was just the cutest thing ever, but didn't expect it to last. Having so many dogs, we were certain, for safety reasons, the duck's visits would be brief.
Not true! Last year they spent the entire Spring and Summer in our pond! The female eventually developed enough trust in me that she would take bits of bread from my hand. The male however, never would. Instead, he would stand at a distance and watch...often quacking at her disapprovingly.
The ducks would often spend the entire day at our house either swimming or sunning themselves on the rocks. This was both a blessing and a curse because it made it quite difficult to let the dogs outside and not have them assume it was "duck season" in the truest sense of the term! It became necessary to institute "duck detail". I put a sign on my sliders that said "check for ducks!!" so that whomever let the dogs out would know to look for ducks first. If there were indeed ducks on the premises, it was that person's responsibility to go outside, rain or shine, shoo the them into the pond where they couldn't be reached, then let the dogs out. I also did my best to teach the dogs to be respectful of their personal space by yelling, "no ducks!" whenever they attempted to catch them. It was a happy, albeit at times inconvenient compromise. At sunset each evening, the ducks would fly off for parts unknown, only to return each morning. I would often wake up to ducks quacking on the roof just outside our bedroom window! It really quacked me up!
Sorry, I couldn't resist!
As fall quickly approached, I wondered what would become of my web footed friends. I suspected that they would eventually leave for a warmer climate, but if so, they didn't seem in a tremendous rush to do so.
Then one evening, I watched them leave and next morning, they were not in the pond. Being a worrier by nature, I was concerned that something had happened to them. I listened every morning for their quacks...but there were none. It saddened me.
Then one chilly November morning, I let the dogs outside, having completely forgotten the need for a "duck check." I heard a familiar, yet truly pissed off quacking, followed by a loud splash. I look out the kitchen window and there they were, swimming around the pond! I was thrilled....and relieved. When they left that evening, they would not return. I felt as if they had come back to say good-bye.
A day or two after Autumn passed away, Ray woke me from a sound sleep saying, "you need to come look outside". I couldn't imagine what could be important enough for me to look outside at 6:30 a.m, with the possible exception of the Publisher's Clearinghouse Prize Patrol with one of those big ass checks for a million dollars. I grumbled, "this better be good" as I dragged myself from under my toasty blankets. Through sleepy eyes, I peered out the window and there were our little ducky friends swimming cheerfully around the pond! I still would have loved the million bucks, but this, for me, was just as good!
This morning. as I watched the ducks swimming around the pond, I was reminded of a little song to the tune of "Three Cheers For the Red, White and Blue" that my sister used to sing to me when I was kid.
"Be kind to your web footed friends, for a duck may be somebodies mother!"
So Mote It Be!
In Darkness, Light!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 8:47 AM